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Yoga with Hope Clunie

Did You Know?: Alternate Nostril Breathing

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Alternate nostril breathing is a Pranayama (breath practice) in yoga which involves taking full inhales and exhales through each nostril. It is used to examine which nostril is more open, which can tell you a lot about the way your brain is working. When you are better to able breathe through your right nostril, it means your left brain is more active. You have more energy for tasks and interactions, and being assertive comes more easily when in this mind state. On the other hand, when the left nostril is more open, your emotion and attitude tend to be more passive, and the mind and body are more inclined to be restful and receptive. Interestingly, It takes between two and three hours between the times when our right nostril to more open to the left nostril being more open. In the span of a few hours, your emotional state and situation will likely have shifted, activating the other side of your brain for the next event.

The basics for alternate nostril breathing(ANB), a very calming activity, great for reducing stress and feeling grounded:

Bring the pointer finger and middle finger down on your right hand. Then, palm facing your face, close your right nostril  with your thumb and inhale through left nostril. At the top of your inhale, close left nostril with your ring finger. Still closing off right nostril, hold your breath for as long as is comfortable, or about 10 seconds. Then lift your thumb and slowly exhale through the right nostril. Continue ANB for however it takes for you to feel calm. Naturally, this type of breathing has a balancing effect. Afterwards, notice how either side of your body feels.

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Author: hopeclunie

Yogini, Certified Forrest Yoga Instructor, Artist, Swimmer, Animal Lover, Caretaker of Sonny the Shih Tzu

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